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Celery Powder used as a cure?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by chuck white, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. I am getting ready to smoke some Lamb Summer Sausage and I found Celery Juice Powder when looking for cure. Has anybody been using it or should I stick to the Inst-Cure 1 I have been using?

    Information on product:

    Celery Juice Powder contains naturally occuring nitrites and nitrates (which breakdown to nitrites with the help of bacteria native in meat itself). Celery Juice Powder is now commonly being used for giving sausages and meats a cured appearance and taste without the use of synthetic sodium nitrite/nitrate. Since nitrates take time to convert ('reduce') to nitrite and there is no consensus yet for a suggested curing time per amount Powder for consistent curing action. Products using vegetable based nitrites/nitrates (such as Celery Juice Powder) must be cooked prior to consumption.

    Each packet (Net Wt. 1.25 oz.) can be used for 25 lbs. of ground meat.

    1.25 oz. of Celery Juice Powder = approximately 8 tsp.

    For 10 lb. recipes use 3 1/2 tsp Celery Juice Powder.

    *The USDA currently does not recognize naturally occurring nitrates as effective curing agents in meats, so if using Celery Juice Powder for products being sold to the public, the end-products must be labeled "Uncured".
  2. If you're cold smoking you must stick with the Cure #1.

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chuck, evening..... Martin has you covered and your back when it come to curing.......

    Cure# 1 is proven to kill bacteria and pathogens, and make your food safe....  Would you gamble with your health, the health of your children and friends using a placebo that has no guarantees ??  

  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Celery powder is used by some as an alternative to cure #1
    I've never used it, and can't justify taking a chance

    Nitrites are still nitrites, no matter if they come from curing salt or celery powder
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The whole Celery Juice thing is just a way Bacon and Ham producers  can market and charge extra $$$ for their meats that can be labeled... All Natural with No Added Chemicals. I looked into the use of Celery Juice and can't seem to find any good info on how much to use. Considering Nitrites and Nitrates are naturally occurring salts, have been used for curing for hundreds of years and are only safely manufactured for large quantity productions, there is no reason to mess with Celery Juice...JJ
  6. It's important to remember that it's just a seasoning and a color enhancer and not a cure so should be used as such.
    There's nothing wrong with using it as long as one recognizes it's limitations.
    We all have different goals.
    If someone doesn't want to use standard nitrates or nitrites, more power to 'em, after all, they're the ones who are eatin' the stuff they make...but, again, it's important to understand the reasons such things are used in the first place, so one can make informed decisions.

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  7. Thanks Guys, I guess I will stick to my Inst-Cure1

    I'll let you know how the lamb summer sausage comes out.

    The temperture here in Ohio is dropping so we should be able to butcher the lambs in the next couple weeks.   I will let them hang for a week and then we will cut, grind, stuff and smoke.

    Thanks again

  8. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    chuck.....every one has got ya covered.
  10. Dave,


    Thank You,


     This is a great article and has answered concerns I have had about Nitrates, and Nitrites for many years.


    We always butchered our own beef and pigs when I was growing up at Home,  we didn't cure we just wraped and froze.


    I got interested in curing meat while building the Seneca Rocks Forest Information Center at Mouth Of Seneca W.Va. in the early 1970's.


    There was nothing there then just 2 General Stores and 2 Motels.


    Pauline a lady  that worked at Buck Harper's General Store would invite me over when the family butchered hogs and I would help  They Sugar Cured all the Hams and made sausage that they would fry and pack in crocks that they covered with sausage grease.  I can't remember what all they used on the hams I think we rubbed them with Salt, Sugar and Red Pepper, wrapped them in brown paper and placed them in the rafters above the wood shed.  Pauiline gave me some to take home later that Winter and we had to boil some of the salt out of it before we fried it.

    Buck Harper's store is still there but Buck is gone, he was a real good guy.



    Pauline also gave me a great recipe for sauerkraut stuffed hot peppers I'll pass on some time.


    After I finished that job I bought a book called Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kuytas and started making corned beef, corned venison shoulder, Canadian Bacon, Smoked Venison Salami, Jerky out of everything, Smoked Wild Turkey, Smoke Steelhead, and now my favorite Smoked Summer Sausage.  Back then you could call the New York Sausage maker if you had questions or wanted to place an order spices, casings or whatever.

    The one thing I read in his book in the 1970s and I have always been concered about was in its Glossary.

    It said, "NITROSAMMINES A cancer producing substance". 

    "Sodium nitrite-sodium nitrate has been implicated as producing this substance under certain conditions when used in curing of certain meats, especially bacon."

    Thank You again